Quick Start Guide: How to Stake on Kusama

Learn how easy it is to stake on Kusama.

Step 1: Generate Stash and Controller accounts

This step can be done using a Ledger hardware wallet, or the Polkadot extension. Once you create your account, within settings, you can change the address format of your account to Kusama.

  1. Stash Account is a cold wallet that holds funds. It decides how much funds are bonded and has its stored funds bonded to a Controller Account.
  2. Controller Account acts on behalf of the Stash Account to nominate and validate. It also sets preferences such as payout accounts and commission and acts as signing accounts that dictate governance.

Step 2: Bond Tokens via Polkadot-JS UI

  1. Selecting the amount you wish to bond.
  2. Choose payment destinations for reward distribution, such process will be executed with the Controller Key while the tokens will be bonded in the Stash key:
    1. If choosing “Stash account (increase the amount at stake)”, the reward will be compounded, bonded, and hence subject to 28 day bonding period.
    2. If choosing “Stash account (do not increase the amount at stake)”, “Controller account” or “Specified payment account” for payment destination, the reward will not be bonded and will be liquid.
  3. Once bonded, staked principal will be subject to 28 day bonding period.

Step 3: Nominate a validator via Polkadot-JS UI

  1. A nominator can nominate up to 16 validators.
  2. Once selected validators, nominations will be active in the next era, which will be the period when validators are elected for block production.
    1. Only the elected validator and its pool will receive rewards.

Step 4: Reward Distribution

  1. The reward is distributed to validators in each era (~24h).
  2. Equal block rewards are paid to validator pools regardless of the total amount staked in the individual validator pool, meaning pools with less stake will generally pay more to the nominators than pools with more stakes. A pool is a term for a validator and its nominators.
    1. A percentage of the total reward from Blockdaemon’s validator pool is paid to Blockdaemon as a commission.
    2. The remainder is paid proportional to the amount staked by nominators.
  3. Reward compounds or not:
    1. If you choose payment destination as "Stash account (increase the amount at stake)", rewards are compounded and subject to a 7-day bonding period.
    2. If you choose payment destination as "Stash account (do not increase the amount at stake)", rewards are not automatically compounded, but such settings can change at any point and time.

Step 5: Claiming rewards via Polkadot-JS UI (manual reward trigger and unbond)

  1. Rewards are claimed and distributed to nominators by the Blockdaemon team once a week.
    1. You will be able to self-claim your rewards more often by using the polkadot-js UI. You will be responsible for paying the transaction fees for the claim if done this way.
    2. If you choose to compound the reward in step 2 the selected amount of reward will be subject to a 28-day unbonding period, during which the unbonded KSMs cannot be transferred nor accrue staking rewards.

What is a staking proxy account?

With the controller account’s permission, a staking proxy account can sign for the controller account in staking and governance votes but not transfer funds. At any time the controller account can replace its staking proxy account.

Polkadot era rewards are validator proportional, not stake proportional. By staking with us, you don’t have to set Blockdaemon as a proxy. Where Blockdaemon is designated as a staking proxy for you, we apply best practices to balance nominations efficiently with the intent to maximize your rewards. Blockdaemon provides no guarantees on rewards earned through its best efforts.